Wednesday, September 28, 2011

500px and POTY2011

Assalamualaikum wbt,

I just signed up for a 500px account. Basically it's almost same like flickr, but in the way that only the best pictures being shared. It also has the blog and the most important feature, the portfolio. Portfolio is like a curriculum vitae or resume for photographer where clients or prospected buyers or employers might have a look on it before any further steps.

For free account, I can only upload 20 pictures a week, which is actually good enough for me as it will restrict me to upload the very best of my pictures. You can visit my 500px HERE.

Screenshot of my 500px.

This Friday is the dateline of Photographer of the Year 2011 (POTY2011) entries to be submitted. For those who don't know yet, I'm entering this time and going to send my best pictures. Not hoping much though, but at least it's worth trying. Wish me luck guys.

p/s : There will be two big photography events held in Kuala Lumpur starting this 1st October. One is KL Photo Festival 2011 (KLPF 2011) at Mid Valley from 7 to 9 October while another is PhotoMalaysia 4th Annual Exhibition at Nikon Centre, Times Square from 1st to 31st of October.

So might worth a visit, plus you guys might have a chance to see my pictures if they're selected for display during the event.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sakura Festival 2011

Last Saturday, I had my chance to go to International Pacific College, (IPC) since they organised the Sakura Festival 2011. This was my 3rd time being there and unlike the past years, the weather was good ; sunny and cloudy sometimes. But I don't know what's the curse ; the cherry blossom (known as sakura to japanese and most people) was not blooming this time. I saw only few trees were start to bloom.

I went there after Zohor prayer by free bus from city centre. I brought my Nikon D700 with my macro lens (Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8) without any other lenses. The reason was that I want to challenge myself to use fixed focal length to shoot around and also my intention that time was to find some beautiful flowers (especially sakura) and bees.

There were many activities and performances being shown during that time including famous Yosakoi Dance, Kapa Haka, Kecak Dance, kendo demonstration and also Japanese Drum. I didn't take much pictures of the people since I want to concentrate on flowers plus bees.

Sakura a.k.a. Cherry Blossom.

Yosakoi Dance performance.

Ladybird. Found this on one of the trees while watching kendo demonstration.

Finally, got this fella. Costs me my track pant (got ripped by rose thorn).

Kapa Haka performance by school boys :)

So cute. Taken after the Japanese Drum performance finished.

Kecak Dance by Indonesian students in Palmy.

Seemed like many people asked me to take their pictures that day.

The event ended around 4pm. I'm thinking to come again around next week as most of the sakura trees should be blooming by that time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


To my pops … Know that I’ll be there for you
Cuz you made me the man that I am and that’s true
Perhaps u might be forgotten or under estimated
But your presence in our life is the most anticipated
I know the Mothers get all the credit and the attention
And your name sometime is not even mentioned
So I’m sending out this Appreciation
To the fathers all around and across the nation
You work so hard to put the food on the table
Taking extra late night shifts to keep us stable
U taught me how 2 b a gentleman and live life
How 2 survive the struggle, the stress n the strife
How 2 take a decision
How 2 chose wisely
How 2 be responsible
How 2 make a family
U took me from a boy 2 a man
So I thank u my father
Cuz I know the ups n downs didn’t bother

When I need an advice … You’re the one I’m seeking for
My inspiration in this life … Keep us safe and secure
No one can understand what you go through sometimes
But you still standing tall so we can have a peace of mind
When times r rough, u never let us know
When things r tough, you still go with the flow
Cuz you are the strength that holds us together
Sacrificing what you have no matter how’s the weather

So I thank you for my life and all the things that you did
And all the sweat and all the tears and all the blood that you shed
And all the time that you raised me to be a better man
So when they say like father like son I understand 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Streets of Napier, New Zealand

Salam and hello guys,

Yesterday I had a chance to go on tour to Napier, Hawke's Bay. This tour was organised by International Students Support (ISS) Massey University. Napier is east of Palmerston North and about 2 hours drive.

Based on the tentative of the tour, I have decided to go for street shooting rather than landscape. And I planned to give a go on abstract photography too. So, here's the photos of the tour that I taken. Most of the pictures were taken with my new lens, Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1.

Repertoire of a wall's pattern I found by the roadside in the city.

Took this during stop in Dannevirke. It's actually an outer layer of the playground.

Distinct pattern of the rope.

On the way to Napier, we stopped by the Te Apiti Windfarm to take pictures.

At Dannevirke.

I forgot the name of this street, but it's famous as George St in Dunedin, Lambton Quay in Wellington and Queen St in Auckland.

Wear it with pride.

Father and Son.
Father and Son.

"Go my son and sin no more!!!"
The Street Preacher. Found him while wandering around the Beach Domain. Although not many were come and listening, he still looks energetic and full of spirit when giving out his speech.

The Alleyway. Looks like one in Cuba or Vietnam I think.

A couple relaxed on the tree branch at the seashore. That's Pacific Ocean dude.

Beach Domain, Napier.
Beach Domain, Napier. I'm waiting quite long to get just a single person in the frame to give scale of the image.

Tour ended around 2.30pm where the bus left Napier for home. Looking forward to do street photoshooting back in Malaysia soon.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Macro Photography ; The Beginning

Salam guys,

Assalamualaikum wbt and hello everyone,

Just got my first macro lens last three days, which is Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di. Actually, I bought Tokina 100mm f/2.8 Macro in the first place but somehow there's no stock available for Nikon mount so I decided to switch to the current lens.

Since there are not many bugs in New Zealand compared to birds, so most of the shots are flowers, plants, leaves and buds. But I'll try to search for insects next time perhaps.

For me, there are four most important factors that need to be remembered in order to get a good macro images.

1. The composition.
Take some times to compose the frame. If it's not possible then try to crop it during post processing. My principle on the composition is that  "less is always more". Try to avoid cluttered, busy frame that will distract the viewers from looking to the main subject.

2. Focusing and Sharpness.
This is one of the difficult things to do. Since the subject are mostly bugs or flowers, it tends to move (bugs are flying from one place to another, and flowers being blown by wind). So, it's kind of tricky to lock the focus. Plus, when using macro lens, the focusing speed is kind of slow which most of the shooters prefer to do manual focusing. For beginning, I still stick with the auto focusing. Patience might be the best remedy for this problem. One of the simple tips might be on using a single focus point and aim it on the best parts of the subject. As for me, I prefer to lock the focus on the insect's eye or flowers' stamen.

3. Enough Depth of Field (DOF).
When using macro lens, much closer we are to the subject, the less the DOF become. In the normal shooting, f/2.8 - f/8 will be just enough to get the subject in focus but it's different when comes to macro. Usually I use around f/11 - f/20. The downside of this action is that the image will be under exposed and sometimes, it will be less sharp due to the diffraction when using lower aperture.

4. Lighting.
To overcome the tendency of underexposed image due to the factor no.3 as mentioned, we need enough lighting so that the details can be captured in well exposed image. First day that I went out shooting using this lens, I brought with me a Nikon SB600 external flash attached to Orbis ring flash adapter, handheld. And it was wireless triggered using built in camera flash. The good things about it was the light is evenly diffused on the subject and almost no harsh shadows on it, but it's way too heavy. I later on mounted it on the tripod I brought on the second day, but the downside was it took some time for me to setting it up (the tripod) near to the subject which later on flying away when I finished.

Finally, I have designed a better lighting setup, which using the SB600 attached on the Orbis arm which is connected to the tripod mount of the camera body. And on the flash head itself I put an el-cheapo softbox that I bought from Trademe. And it works, plus not too heavy so I can use both of my hands supporting the whole system. Below are the pictures of it :
Lighting setup for macro 1

Lighting setup for macro 2

Lighting Setup for Macro 3
I let Koid try it out while I took his picture :)

Here are some of the results I got for last three days shooting using this lens :



This one was taken by Koid, my friend using my camera during outing this morning.

I put SB600 + Orbis adapter to the left side of this flower, handheld.


Bee Gees.
Perhaps the best of my macro shots so far. This one kinda tricky since it tends to move quickly from one flower to another.

Apart from macro/close up, macro lens also can be used as all day normal lens or the best, as portrait lens. In fact, it's known as the best portrait lens since due to its sharpness like the following image :


That's all for now. Thanks for your time visiting my blog.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My 3rd Eid-ul-Fitri in Palmy.

Assalamualaikum wbt,

Eid mubarak to all of you. Hope you enjoying yourself.

As I told before in the previous entry, Eid in New Zealand is a day late than Malaysia, that is on 31st August.

Like previous years, I went for Solat-ul-Eid that morning. As the same for last years, it was held at Arena Manawatu to accommodate the increasing number of Muslims in Palmerston North from time to time. The takbir started around 7.30am followed by prayer at 8am.

Takbir being recited while waiting for the prayer.

Khutbah after prayer. Delivered by Dr. Ibrahim al Bahadly.

Usual scene after khutbah..

For this time, it was decided that the hari raya gathering is going to be held at 42 Ward Street, that is the 1st year undergrads place since it's a bigger place and has quite spacious lawn for this gathering. Rather than cooking the foods all alone, it was held in forms of potluck where every family / houses bring their own foods to be shared.

My "baju raya" for this year.


Usual scene.

Dapat duit raya :) (only for childrens)

Undergrads left for Eid. The rest whether going back to Malaysia or gone somewhere else.

Big Family of Malaysian in Palmerston North.

This gathering ended around 11am. And we went for several other open houses as well till night. 

Open house at Botanical Rd.

Abg Mat's open house after Maghrib.

And that's not the end of the open houses...there will be another two open houses this weekend and the official one this 18th September organised by MUMSA.

Hope everything went well and as planned. And this is the start of spring as well :) Can't wait for Sakura Festival this mid of the month :P